About this Show

Washington Journal

News/Business. Live morning call-in program with government officials, political leaders, and journalists. (Stereo)

NETWORK

DURATION
03:01:00

RATING

SCANNED IN
San Francisco, CA, USA

SOURCE
Comcast Cable

TUNER
Channel 17

VIDEO CODEC
mpeg2video

AUDIO CODEC
ac3

PIXEL WIDTH
704

PIXEL HEIGHT
480

TOPIC FREQUENCY

Us 34, U.s. 29, Washington 23, California 11, Florida 8, Clinton 7, United States 7, Texas 7, America 7, Obama 6, Egypt 6, Pennsylvania 6, North Carolina 5, Airways 4, Iowa 4, Virginia 4, Bernie Sanders 4, New York 4, United 3, Carolina 3,
Borrow a DVD
of this show
  CSPAN    Washington Journal    News/Business. Live morning call-in program with  
   government officials, political leaders, and journalists. (Stereo)  

    August 17, 2013
    7:00 - 10:01am EDT  

7:00am
operation, and rehabilitation. then we will talk about the justice department sued to block the merger between american airlines and us airways. host: good morning, expected in egypt by those supporting the ousted president there. repeated violations of privacy rules by the nsa thomas calling for operations of the program. at a state justice in pennsylvania has blocked a voter id law there. this is in time for the november 5 special election. journal," ahington three-hour program for you. our first 45 minutes is looking at politics, looking to you specifically on this topic am a
7:01am
who best represents your political party? the rnc concluding its summer meeting, talking about its future as far as 2016 is concerned. visits to iowa by joe biden. for the first 45 minutes we want to hear from the people that best represents your political party. divided the lines by political party. if you want to give us a tweet on this topic you can send that our way@c-spanwj. send us an e-mail at journal@c- span.org. couple ofurred by a different things. "the wall street journal" has a new writeup about the rnc meeting.
7:02am
the head of the rnc talked a little bit about the 2016 strategy. in this write up this morning, he said -- that ist abt the strategy on the republican side. on the democratic side, iowa seems to be concerned, taking a .ook at what is going on there the vice president is expected to speak there next month. abc news talks about heller clinton and the minnesota senator, saying --
7:03am
for our first 45 minutes, a generic topic when it comes to , specificallyies we are interested in hearing
7:04am
about who represents your political party best. be prepared to tell us who that is and be prepared to tell us why. here are the numbers that you can give us a call on. for the first call up this morning, this is slim from new york on our independent line. ?ow are you tell us who you think best represents your political party. there is no difference between the two parties. they need a third independent party. democrat and republican.
7:05am
neither one of them are for the people. that is my comment. (202) 737-000 [indiscernible] host: who caller: do you think better presents your party? caller:it is ashamed they through howard dean under the bus. the -- he went to every state when he was a chairman. and he to every state talked to everybody. obama lost all those congressional districts once they through howard dean on the bus. howard dean is your best candidate? caller: he would've had been
7:06am
that he would've been a good candidate for a third-party. host: next caller. caller: jesse jackson bastrop since my party and he represents the new generation of the civil rights generation. allegiance to the traditional elders of the movement, such as his father, jesse jackson. you have this insatiable appetite. he is cup between the traditional representatives of this party.
7:07am
his wife, i think she received 12 months, which is a year, in prison. unprecedented. maggie from texas, independent line. i am a progressive. my choice would be bernie sanders. sanders, heie stands up for the little people. can you hear me? host: go ahead. caller: he is a man of principle. he stands up for the little people. he does not represent the one percent in this country. he represents the other 99%. overwhelmingly choose
7:08am
bernie sanders. host: please tell me what first brought him to your attention. what is the specific thing that got him? caller: i have followed him for years. there are a few good democrats. they are still controlled by the party politics. i will take bernie sanders any day. three comments so far, a wide range of comments, about who best or present your political party. you have heard our folks talk about it this morning. tell us why and tell us who that person is. the phone lines, if you want to give us a call --
7:09am
here's the latest from egypt, saying --
7:10am
politics is our discussion for the first topic this morning, who better be since your political party. lakeland, florida, democrats line, hello. has -- i would have to say it has always been the president of the united states. he has represented the democratic party well. the one thing that concerns me -- thean anything else key to getting anything done is through congress. right now it needs to be done is democrats need to take congress back. thatu consider the fact for the past four years or more we have had less than 10% approval in congress, that does nothing. we need to get to -- we need to
7:11am
get the support we need. once the democrats get back in control things will be done in a better fashion. congressional level does anybody capture your attendant? caller: no. the president needs the support. host: virginia, independent line. i support ben carson. i think he is not aligned with a party. he is aligned with solutions. that lineve to have of thinking in washington dc. it comes to solutions, what do you think he offers to problems that in your mind exists? he addresses personal responsibility, which our country needs more and more. the -- makes people are a
7:12am
silly responsible. you can take a look at his life and past experience. he came from a poverty situation and is one of the most successful success stories in the united states. he would be a fantastic leader for us at this time. host: how did he come to your attention? every time he speaks he just reinforces in what i believe and have come to believe. he has common sense with his answers and thoughts. , as far as heon goes, he has appeared several times on this program. if you want to stay -- if you want to see things he's said or speeches he's given, i invite you to go to our video library. you can see our archive of what's available about the person.
7:13am
washington dc is up next, democrats line, anthony. caller: good morning. being a democrat i honestly believe hillary clinton is going always iood -- he has believe -- run, if she does decide to what you think is her liability ? caller: [indiscernible] i hope she does elect obama's wife as the vice president. we have video on both
7:14am
sides. the former secretary of state, she addressed the american bar association at the annual meeting. talk she addressed issues of voting rights, particularly the supreme court and their voting on the -- and their ruling on the voting rights act. [video clip] racialne who says discrimination is no longer a problem us not be paying attention. despite the best efforts of many , discrepancies and resources across to polling stations still disproportionally impact african-americans, latinos, and young voters. voting rightse act, especially its requirement that jurisdictions with a history of discrimination precleared changes in their election procedures have played an important role in nearly half a century. past 15 years, under both democratic and republican presidents, the department of
7:15am
justice has used the law to block nearly 90 discriminatory changes to state and local election rules. many more were withdrawn under scrutiny. just since congress reauthorized the voting rights act in 2006, more than 30 proposed changes have been stocked. -- have been stopped. the supreme court struck at the heart of the voting rights act and struck out the preclearance formula that made it so effective. some take the historic success of the voting rights act as a sign that the discrimination is a thing of the past and we no longer needed protection. justice ginsburg said, that is like throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you are not getting what. you will soon be soaked. host: the former secretary of clinton, speaking at the american bar association meeting. part of our topic this morning about who best represents your political party, feel free to call the lines, get your
7:16am
thoughts. you can reach out to us on twitter as well. he associated press talks and looks at the 16 about who is and jumpingund through the hoops.
7:17am
anthony from washington, d.c. joins us on the democrats line. you did speak to me. bob fromwill go to sherman oaks, california on the independent line. i would like to say that the people that represent who i is obama when he ran his campaign. it is the same thing with hillary clinton. if she is anything like her , what has started to happen with the democratic party thehat they only express passions of the other 99% when they are running their campaigns.
7:18am
everybody that obama and bill clinton put into office, especially in the financial , are the same people that the republicans would have chosen. as a matter of fact some of them are left over from george bush. bill clinton deregulated the commodities future trade commission. he also got rid of glass- steagall. if he had not gotten rid of that during his time in power, then -- we woulde had not have had the economy that collapsed. exceptas done nothing higher the same people to correct that. republicans could not be happy. there were no no regulations. our economy is only for the billionaires. it is mostly because the democrats do nothing to correct
7:19am
the problems. we will move onto bonnie from idaho. on the republican line. i am a registered republican but i actually vote for the person i would support, hillary clinton. i agree with president obama, i am looking forward to the healthcare that is going to be coming on january 1. i am a registered nurse. i had to quit work because my husband has an illness and i have no insurance. i am looking forward to having insurance. i think president obama has really stepped forward and took on this issue. what is it about the former secretary of state that appeals to you? i like the way she has the world affairs as
7:20am
secretary of state. i think she has done an awesome job. that is bonnie from idaho, just some of the people expressing their thoughts on who best represent your political party. a couple of news of note, as is from the new jersey star-ledger, governor christie sends back pot, gun bills for revisions --
7:21am
at a pennsylvania, the associated press reporting that on friday -- we go next to james on the democrats line. caller: hello. ofould like to put the name fusebeth warren down as a -- as a future president. there are many possibilities.
7:22am
somebody whois what president obama said he stood for when he ran for election. timer, ias an old vividly remember the nude he'll. times,ost all the shortly after world war ii ended --f which i am of it turned, i am a veteran, the democrats and republicans have been whittling away at the new deal, which i think is very popular and is something we need now. are --hat about centers about senator warren do you like and support? said, i believe the corporations in america are
7:23am
behaving exactly as most selenium would have liked in .taly fascism is at merger of the state and the corporations. that is the direction in which we are heading. marie tweets us this morning -- next up is gregory from north carolina, independent line. perot, i was a ross ralph nader, our current president, and hillary clinton. what about those four, in summary, do you support? caller: i am concerned about the
7:24am
-- the prior caller hit it on the head. not curve lineup is raining in the sequester -- north carolina is raining in the sequester. they try to cut back on schools, hospitals, you name it. i had to do a paradigm shift and go for independent money. how are you going to sell computer equipment to a family easier when it would be to sell the schools that can buy thousands. reynard from virginia,
7:25am
republican line, good morning. the person who i think best present my political party is none. did elected they start representing the national party. what makes you come to that decision? -- oncespecifically they get elected, even though locally we put them in for a specific reason, they start going to the national nra or the national republican position, regardless of what we locally said. who have you voted for in the past? caller: my recent vote was for ron paul. not representoes your vote? caller: no, he takes up the national position and not my
7:26am
position specifically. when we were talking about obama's position on healthcare, i think it is a good position. nationalets up on the position he has to take up the national policy, which is on obama care. host: willard from jerome, ayatollah -- jerome, iowa. my hopes was always that robert kennedy junior would jump into their. he has the fire of the belly -- fire in the belly of his dad. he does not mince any words. he is usually coming down on the side of environmental. he knows what those bankers on wall street has done. if everyone would stop for a -- some kid has
7:27am
been thrown in prison for having is in there with all of those guys that can torture and screw you up. these out there on wall street. they lose $10 billion a day and get away on a settlement for $2 million. it is ridiculous. they ought to be outraged. i was in prison for smoking pot i would be outraged. the whole of america ought to be outraged. it is like a rod stewart song. you still $100 you get thrown into jail, you steal a million you become a king.
7:28am
host: on the republican line, this is joe. caller: thank you for taking my call. one of the names i like is teddy it seems he's for state rights. i do not think that would've happened anyway because some of the senior republicans, they are so comfortable with what they are doing. that are these young guys are ruffling the feathers. when did you come to the attention of ted cruz? back in february with the gun control. it seems to me he is for the common folk. that is why i like him. that is joe from hanover, pennsylvania.
7:29am
senator cruise talk in a fundraiser and one of the topics he talked about his about repealing obamacare. [video clip] right not to enlist your help. we are getting ready to have an epic battle. you may have read congress has voted on a are the eight, 39, 500 times to repeal obamacare. none of those votes got passed into law. when ite thing to vote is a symbolic gesture that you can go back to your constituents and say, hey, i voted. fall, we have an opportunity to de-fund obamacare. [applause] in september, the continuing resolution that funds the federal government expires.
7:30am
i had publicly pledged along with a number of other senators that under no circumstances will i vote for a continuing resolution that funds one penny of obama care. host: about 100 people registering on facebook on this question. had cruz comes up a couple of different type -- a couple of sanders, times, bernie tracy hale says hillary clinton and elizabeth warren would be unstoppable in 2016. and just to give you some of the examples of some of the opinions that have been expressed this morning on the topic of who best represent your political party, and you to call for the next 15 minutes. we will take those calls are out then. from the politics session in "the washington post, looking at privacy concerns when it comes to an essay a programs, the large piece on some of the violations --
7:31am
7:32am
you can read more in the washington post this morning. we look at anna from chicago illinois. i would vote for hillary clinton. she knows what she is doing. host: what is it about her that best represents the party? caller: everybody likes her, she is a smart.
7:33am
she is close to president obama with her ideas. she is really bright. host: tom is from maryland on the democrats line. good morning. tom.ore time for let us move on to roger. roger is from leawood, kansas, republican line. caller: if it were possible. -- if it were possible, i would support charles grassley to be the next president. i would support rand paul to be his vice president. i think he is a man that is without guile, he is very honest, i like the way he has served as a senator in the think thetes, and i other candidates, including hillary clinton, have passed. what leads you to your conclusion? himer: i have watched
7:34am
conduct hearings in the senate. always seems to find areas in the government where there is fraudand where there is with the bureaucrats and the government administration. he is also a midwesterner from iowa. the kind ofesents that is what our founding fathers intended. host: there is a story about -- rts this week
7:35am
our next call is from california, democrats line. go ahead. caller: i totally agree with the gentleman that call from for ginny. the politicians do not represent the constituents that elect them.
7:36am
i have just began to be involved in politics but i have noticed what they plan to do and how they are going to cut taxes and fight crime. out here in california, we ran a pretty good governor out of office to put in schwarzenegger. he made things worse. levelthat on the national and i see that has been going on. i would hate to call people a hypocrite but the republicans are the biggest hypocrites i have seen in my life. anything and everything bush wanted to do, and now they are blocking everything obama wants to do. basically go obama is trying to correct the problems that the republicans themselves have put the country in. deficit spending on
7:37am
every program they ran when he was in power. the want to blame the democrats for everything. they create the problems and then blame democrats. one thing i heard from john boehner the entire time is where is the job seattle one he became the speaker they won't even appropriate for the jobs that they know we need. john from louisville, kentucky, democrats line. caller: i was born a republican. i think the democrats give the guy a more bush fair shake -- more of a fair shake. our state pension plan is in a horrible shape. jefferson county, our school systems broke. they have rand paul running around the country, running for
7:38am
president. all mitch mcconnell does is sling mud. i agree with the gentleman that called about the glass-steagall, why he repealed that i will never know. sanders bought off more than their fair share of the democrats. host: is pretty standards the one that is are present your clinical party? caller: i would say so. us youru can give thoughts on who best represents your political party for the next 10 minutes. "the washington post" has a follow-up story, taking a look at events in england -- in egypt. write --
7:39am
lisa is joining us about the question we posed this morning
7:40am
about who better present your political party. she is from louisville, kentucky on the democrats line. hillaryi really think clinton best represents us. we have a lot of union jobs here. a far way. go our economy is not that bad of shape it i wish our school system was a better shape. thank you very much. nancy from houlton, maine, republicans line. i really believe that dr. ben carson would be a great president. much. done so he has got some great ideas. he speaks to the people and commonsense ways that people can
7:41am
understand. i think he is a great man. i would think he would be a great president. host: during the congressional rakes, politicians engage in town halls with their constituents. we have taped two, which will air to you tomorrow for your viewing. senator john mccain held a town meeting this week in tucson arizona and nancy pelosi recently participated in a san francisco town hall meeting announce california's a limitation of the health-care law. you have a chance to see both of those town hall hearings on sunday. that will start at 1035 -- at 10:35. larry is joining us from wallington, ohio, independent line. i think they should elect jesse vent her. he is the only person i have ever seen that has put both of the political parties in their place.
7:42am
it is time for someone who is actually going to represent the working man. what do you mean when you say he put both political parties and to place? down onhe put a clamp these guys and made them actually try to do something to help the middle class. up fighting against him, both parties fought against him. that tells you he is doing something right. we need somebody that is going to represent us and not just them. these people are only into their own pocketbooks. it is time for them to go. salary is up next on the democrats line. seeer: i would like to howard dean run again but i do not know if that is possible since he was the democratic head. he seems to be very straightforward and is very very howard truman-like. he would be my choice. i am not for hillary clinton at all.
7:43am
i think it is time for the old to get out and the new to begin. host: howard dean would represent that? very much like bernie sanders. i like the vermont people. one more call on this topic, tyson from culver city, california. i think marco rubio is my best bet for president coming next term. i think he has a smart way and an intelligent view of what the country needs and a responsible view. get tax social security and medicare like it is the real issue that it is. i think marco rubio for president. caller coming up, we will take up the topic of overcrowding in what it might mean
7:44am
for present populations. marcuests joining us, mauer and richard viguerie. ther on we will look at technicalities behind the decision of the merger between american airlines and airways. we'll take a look at that with jack innicas. all of that when we continue after this. >> unfortunately, in this environment, the moment something passes the house the pressure on immigration, which has dissipated over the last couple of weeks and months, will immediately be back in the forefront in it will be difficult to get away from something that looks like the senate bill. >> it would be better for republican leaders not to act on immigration in this environment. >> yes, the american people have
7:45am
a lot of concerns. errors unemployment out of control. some pretty serious issues that needs to be taken care of right now. immigration, being one of them. -- i thinkre near the poll we released yesterday in the specific congressional districts, it was 1.5% to set immigration was at the top of their list. there are some pretty important issues toimportant deal with. we should not be describing ourselves with an immigration bill and clocks the ceo of heritage -- immigration bill. >> the ceo of heritage action talks about their plan to promote the conservative agenda. >> we were right to fully fund the military since 9/11. what we did is we deprived the state department. there is, as a result, in
7:46am
enormous gap between the size of power in the pentagon and the size of power in the state department for much illustrated bob two examples from gates, who is an outstanding secretary of defense for president bush and obama. he gave a brilliant speech a couple of years ago. secretary gates, we have more and one personnel carrier battle group in the united states navy. more military personnel and one carrier battle group than we have an america and the book in american diplomats around the world. we have more members of the armed forces marching band of the navy never force -- navy, air force, and marines, then american diplomats. >> today at 10 a.m. eastern. how would you define the american dream? that
7:47am
is later today at 7:30. on american history tv, why change the story when the truth is more exciting? true tales of the founding fathers, sunday at noon eastern. interesting about washington in this age is that once you have that title, even if it is a very short title, even if you have been voted out after one term, you can stay in washington and be a former chief of staff, a former congressman, daft to of -- a congressman. ed is marketable. you are in the club. that is a striking departure from the days in which people , serve,me to washington and go back to the farm. it is how the founders intended. treated a new dynamic
7:48am
-- a new dynamic for people to do well here. >> an insiders look at government, politics, and media in washington. at eight on c-span's "q and a." >> "washington journal" continues. host: a discussion of our prison systems, overcrowding, and what it means for sentencing. he talked about proposals he has made and mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug offenders, and that he has bipartisan congressional support. here's what he had to say. a is why i have mandated modification of the justice department charging policy so that certain low-level nonviolent drug offenders who have no ties to large-scale organizations, gangs, or cartels, will no longer be charged with offenses that impose strict tony and mandatory minimum sentences. -- that impose mandate -- that
7:49am
impose oconee and mandatory minimum sentences. [applause] charged for accompanying sentences that are better suited for their individual conduct and that makes excessive prison terms more appropriate for violent criminals and drug kingpins. by preserving the most severe goatees -- by reserving the most severe penalties for high-level traffickers we can better promote public safety, deterrence, and rehabilitation on making our expenditures smarter and more productive. we have seen this with bipartisan support in congress, with a number of senators including the urban, patrick leahy, and rand paul have introduced a listing legislation aimed at getting -- aimed at giving federal judges more discretion in applying the mandatory minimum to certain drug offenders. such legislation will save our country billions of dollars while keeping us more safe. the president and i look for to working with members of all parties to and advance
7:50am
these proposals. are two guestss that are familiar with the topics brought up. of the sentencing project, he serves as executive director. joins us frome the group, right on crime. we start with generic question about the connection between what the attorney general said and what it ultimately means for the current population we have in the federal prison today. it remains to be seen. but we have seen up until now is that too many people are getting excessive mandatory prison sentences for conduct that does not reserve -- that does not deserve for the years in prison. that is because many of the mandatory sentences apply a one- size-fits-all approach to sentencing and does not take into account individual characteristics. little bit more
7:51am
discretion by prosecutors and sentencing judges. as far as the strategy mr. holder's going to apply going forward, what do you think about his proposal? it makes sense but the prosecutors can only do so much. much of that is going to be up to congress. host: the same two questions to you. conservatives welcome, belatedly, the attorney general and by inference the obama administration to this issue. we have been out there fighting it for some years. republican, conservative governors in texas, georgia, south carolina, pennsylvania, south dakota, have been providing leadership on this issue. we have a situation where our criminal justice system is seriously broken. conservatives welcome liberals -- there's a lot of low hanging fruit that conservatives can get together on and address this issue.
7:52am
i think that it is only conservatives that basically can lean on this. the liberals do not have the credibility. they are not trusted on this issue. they have been attacked a lot over the years for being soft on crime. on theis incumbent conservatives. i think you're seeing texas public to policy institute and many others are beginning to move forward to add this issue to the addervatives quiver him another era. i think you'll see this issue move front and center. what about specific targeting for drug offenses? america has five percent of the world's population, 25% of the world prisoners. should be under house arrest, they should be in community programs. we have far too many people in
7:53am
prison that should not be there. they're mistreated many times and they come out worse than they went in. address the entire criminal justice system, not just prisons. is the connection between the current state of prisons as far as overcrowding is concerned and those who receive sentences on low-level drug offenses. half of them are there for drug offense. is greater proportion in state prisons. in the federal system i think it is become quite clear that too many of these people are in the lower levels of the drug trade. either they could be prosecuted in state when it is appropriate to do so. at the very least they do not necessarily deserve, require, and it is not useful for them to get long mandatory minimum sentences. if we could have an impact on how those cases are charged and prosecuted it could make a
7:54am
significant difference in the federal prison population. the past five years the number of inmates that have occurred in segregated housing has occurred in a fast rate. inmates spend 20 to 24 hours a day in isolation. long-term solitary confinement may have overall effects on mental status. when it comes to long-term confinement, $87 million is the total cost for segregated housing for 2000 inmates in 2012. that and other topics will be our topic of discussion for the next hour or so. if you want to ask our guests questions about it -- we have divided the lines differently -- if you have an previously incarcerated these call are a guard and working
7:55am
the corrections system and want to give your perspective -- can we start with basics and academics, what we mean by a mandatory minimum? guest: they are policy set by legislative wise. every state has mandatory sentences. the federal system, typically they are applied to drug offenses, sometimes violent and gun offenses. what it means is that once a person has been found guilty of a specific crime, the judge is not permitted to take individual characteristics into account. for example, if there is a history of drug or alcohol abuse by the defendant, if it is a single mother with two children who will be put in foster care if the mother is incarcerated, the judge cannot look at that. the judge can look at that.
7:56am
congress has had eight track: cain mandatory sentencing law -- has had a crack cocaine mandatory sentencing law that says five years minimum in possession of five grams. -- that wasth sized revised in 2010. any federal judges say they felt pain having to impose some of the sentences because they felt the individual did not serve that prison time. host: is their flexibility in the mandatory system? guest: i think they should. every attorney in the courtroom can tell you no two cases are ever exactly alike. that is why we have to look at the offense, the defendant, and determine what is best for the interest of justice. host: i think we can pretty
7:57am
much all agreed that one-size- fits-all does not work. we need to get rid of minimum sentencing. we need to get rid of three strikes. we just handcuffed these judges in such a way that it is harmful not only to the prisoners and their families but to society in general. host: give judges flexibility act of -- flex ability? guest: absolutely. of a legal drug sentences can send you to prison for 20 years. often are the mandatory minimum standards revised? that markm not aware would be the expert. with the crack cocaine penalties, passed in 1986,
7:58am
within a few short years they were critiqued by the bar association and others. the state level, new york had been notorious. drug laws were severe for people who do not deserve who -- deserve such long terms. it took more than 30 years before they were revised. that is the problem they have an legislation. takes 20 years to undo the harm. host: alternately he was responsible? changeonly congress can the law. the attorney general is encouraging ask you just use distraction in how they charged the case. on the congress can change the law. that is why legislation now is pending to do some of that. is there a concern that
7:59am
each justice could be enacted this on this program and how they meet up their responsibilities? guest: absolutely. too many judges were too lenient in times gone by. we have got to find a balance. it is just destroying too many lives. literally millions of lives they have destroyed, not only in prisons but their spouses and their communities are being hurt by this. there is a concern. to preventllow that us from moving forward and changing these laws. it is wonderful what the attorney general has done in terms of bringing in this issue to light. only about 14% of our countries prisoners are in federal prison. percent -- about
8:00am
86% of these people are in local presence and that is not address the issue at all. what is right on crime? it is a right of center free market foundation in texas. it is a project they have an option forvide conservatives to speak out on the issues we are talking about here. from jed bush to newt gingrich, the much the spectrum of conservatives has signed on board. it >> the national sentencing project is involved in advocacy around prison issues broadly. host: the numbers are on your screen.
8:01am
if you have been in presence and want -- in prison and want to give your thoughts or a corrections facility in some capacity, you can give us your thoughts. is up first first from richmond, virginia, thanks for waiting. i want tood morning, know exactly what the gentleman -- white crime -- to conservatives sick with the proposal that eric holder made last tuesday? guest: conservatives lately tocome the attorney general this issue. it is an issue that many conservative republican governors and legislators have been addressing now for some years. we applaud it. we have some concerns that the attorney general goes through the proper channels. this is something congress has to deal with.
8:02am
we have seen too many times from the conservative perspective, the obama administration going around the law or ignoring the law. that is a concern. we want the laws to be followed there. we are very supportive of the down with acoming sledgehammer where you should use something much softer to deal with drug offenses. taking channels on this process? guest: the attorney general is saying congress should look at these laws and change them when appropriate but this is within my power to talk about what the u.s. attorney can do. the important thing is there is nothing new about this. prosecutors are using their discretion everyday determining which cases to bring to court, how strong the evidence is, what kind of plea negotiation to engage in -- all those kinds of things. prior attorneys general have
8:03am
issued policy guidance to their prosecutors up and down the line. in more severe or lead midway so he is essentially saying, from his perspective, this is what i think will best achieve the interest of justice and is how i would like you did use that discretion you have anyway. guest: i think it is particularly important that go through the legislative process and laws are passed and and the president signs them because what one attorney general says can be undone by the next one. we need to in corporate this and codify this and our laws. the: chicago, illinois, on line for those previously in the prison system, go ahead. caller: i was previously incarcerated. i will -- i did my time in segregation. this is based on experience. what i came to realize and understand is that any time you
8:04am
put a mandatory sentencing or a one-size-fits-all on a guideline , there is over 5 million people that are in course rigid in the united states and the majority of them are for drugs. the process needs to be taken out of the drugs. you only have 500 and five law meant making legislation across the board for the other 5 billion people. once they take the profit out of it, i don't care which way they do it -- any time you have one shoe fits all, they need to take the profit out of it. and the profit out of it then you might be able to see some kind of -- get some help or some kind of rehabilitation. drugs as the profits in -- i am not talking about violent crime -- i'm just talking about drugs. host: the problem of profit
8:05am
within the drug trade? guest: there are various proposals how to deal with substance abuse. in the 1980s, there was a drug problem and we still have a drug problem today. the way that congress and the state legislative bodies responded was to declare a war on drugs that was supported by republicans and democrats at the federal and state level and it is a very narrow law in many respects. it was right merrily fought through the criminal justice system, harsher penalties, harsher punishments, a record number of people in prisons and we have really neglected the front end, the prevention and treatment side. there are things in that direction but in terms of how much funding and resources go into that, it has an very much focused on the back end we need to rebalance the approach to how we look at those things. guest: without saying that the call -- the caller was saying we
8:06am
need to decriminalize drug use. -- illegal drug use. that is an issue worthy of many hours on c-span. i think it is not a low hanging fruit. hanging fruit low issues that republicans, conservatives, and liberals can agree on and we should say that issue for down the road. approximatinging andllion people in prison 40 years ago, we had 40,000. we have a serious problem today to get many of those people out and back in the communities with their families and contributing to society. there are dozens of low hanging fruit issues and we need to start there. host: the attorney general proposed what kind of sentences -- does that change the posture that america takes as a whole toward drugs? guest: whenever the attorney
8:07am
general brings an issue front and center as he did this monday, i think that is helpful and constructive. we need to note take this conversation at a national level and deal with that. thereicans have been out for a while and democrats have joined the issue. i hope we don't get logged down on things that divide us but there are so many things that unite us, let's focus on that image -- and make huge gains in people's lives. guest: i think it was a courageous speech that the attorney general made. it has created quite a bit of tension. there has been quite a bit of activity in the last decade or so. we have seen expansion of drug courts around the country trying to divert people to treatment rather than incarceration. there is a broad range of alternative incarceration being developed. state and local law makers and policy makers have been engaged in this and there has been less at the federal level date and is one reason the
8:08am
attorney general has been speaking out. how do we build on what is going on already? one of the main problems we have is that you can talk to any judge in the country and ask if you have enough drug treatment slots to put people into treatment? there is not a single judge that would say they have all the slots they need. i think there is a real imbalance there. host: felix, from springfield, florida, caller: works in the corrections system. caller:good morning and thank you for c-span. in my almost 30 years in the corrections system, or the criminal justice system, in interviewing numerous inmates, many of them feel they did not get equal representation or representation. cases inough their courts and that is an aspect that needs to be examined closely. that has been a problem for nots -- poor people have
8:09am
gotten the same representation as the wealthy have received. prison, what services are programs are there to keep these people out of prison? they are few and far between. many people released from prison are not prepared to return to society. when they go for employment, if they can find it job based on their skills, they are questioned if they are convicted felons and they are also disenfranchised from being able to seek in full employment. based on that, you looking at the possibility of recidivism. the big topics and i think there is a lot of aspects to the entire criminal justice system that needs examination. host: what do you think about the attorney general's proposal and what it would do for overcrowding? caller: i think that is long overdue. there is a large amount of people in prison for possession of controlled substances or low
8:10am
level trafficking. someone had the courage to speak up on this. i give him kudos. guest: i applaud -- he made comments like the high percentage prisoners are not ready to go back into communities. they are not able to be employable. we need to address some issues -- mental health issues -- there are many, many examples of where this system is broken. it is exciting to hear these callers call in. i don't have a problem except decriminalization of drugs. other than that, the callers have been right on. get itow many people who fences are mixed in with people serving time with higher offenses? is there some type of separation? guest: not necessarily in most places.
8:11am
prisons have maximum and medium security as part -- and it is partly based on the crime or your behavior in prison. sometimes we say this person is a burglar or this person is a drug seller and it does not work out quite as cleanly as that. people involved in criminal activity sometimes will shift around to a different thing. the potential for rehabilitation varies a lot. very often, the corrections areem people tell you who the most dependable people in the prison system and it is usually the people serving life sentences because that is their home for the rest of their lives unless they get parole. they tend to be the most stable population within the system. it is based on individual behavior and how people are treated and how the system is set up. host: greenville, south carolina, serving in the corrections utility, good morning. caller: good morning. how come you do different -- you didn't put two different points of view on this program?
8:12am
it is obvious the people are removed from the community because they were causing disturbances. you're just going to put them right back out. you said it would help the community. i don't know how. if i was an officer or a cop, i would -- i was a military policeman -- i would stop arresting people are doing my job. you're just going to put them out and somebody will let them right back out and they are shop -- they're going to shoplift or whatever they do. i don't think everybody gets a prison term for a little stash of pot. it is maybe the third or fourth conviction of not just drugs but other problems, too. these people are not just in it for drugs. they are breaking the law to provide themselves drugs and do all the other things that drugs play havoc with their minds, whether it is spousal abuse or whatever. drugs lead to all kinds of problems.
8:13am
the vast majority of these people, you will not be happy they are letting them out, believe me, to your community, and i don't think the police are either. it will cost more money to read incarcerate them into the court system and to the police system then put them back in prison for a later, worse crime they commit. are talking about public safety. we have a finite amount of knowledge to put into public safety and it's a question of how we want to use that. if we have a kid on the street corner who was a low level drug seller and he is arrested and sent to prison, it is conservatively speaking, $25,000 per year. if he gets a five-year mandatory sentence, the taxpayers will spend 125 thousand dollars to take one kid off the street corner who is probably going to be replaced in about 20 minutes on the same street corner. how do we want to spend our resources? how do we prevent that kind of drug problem in that neighborhood in the first place? i think we can do more with that
8:14am
$125,000 multiplied over thousands of times if the person was picked up as a serial rapist, people would not have a problem spending that money to keep that person behind bars. that is the issue. we have to be much more strategic than me have been over the last several decades. would i think the caller be in a small minority. recognizebody can that the system this earthly broken. it does not work for prisoners and their families. it is tearing up families. you are taking the bread winner out of the family more times than not. that means the -- there are children at home and the remaining spouse has to go on welfare. it is decimating families. many of them are coming out far worse than they go in. forlifting -- you go in five years or so and you come out with a phd in criminology.
8:15am
it is not working for the taxpayers. the cost is ballooning. 35 years ago, we spent $9 billion and now it is over 50 $2 billion and climbing -- $52 billion and climbing. it is an important part of state budgets and it is not working potentialtizens, the victims. the people who go in for minor offenses like shoplifting are coming out as hardened criminals many times. the system is broken across the board. i think we can all agree on that. the idea of closing our minds to it and saying just lock them up and throw the key away -- 40 years ago, that was our attitude. host: tallahassee, florida, our line for others, good morning. caller: i am calling in
8:16am
reference that the gentleman from south carolina made the point of how this and balls humanity and a moral issue. this is not a conservative or liberal issue but a humanity -- moral issue for our nation. the gentleman from south carolina speaks to that point because if, in fact, the culture of the country has created criminalization and militarization in our police forces as a means of an economic development -- most of the rural communities where the prisons are located have no economic development so the prison has provided an economic development, and employment development for those particular people. therefore, this cycle of referencemilitarization and thex of it for the police department -- we need to do many things in the homeland security department. when it was created, created these different grants that come , thethe federal government edward barnes memorial grant where we distribute money for criminal justice programs that come back down to the local
8:17am
municipalities. you have this cycle that we created an economic and employment for rural communities where the prisons are located. as it relates to the of the states, florida and georgia and the statesn states, the rule that they have stopped creating prisons because of the budget recession. particularly,a in 100 prisons built but not used in their closing prisons because you have have overbuilt because you created this culture of militarization and economic development. host: thank you very much. it is certainly a driving force. prisons have always tended to be built in rural areas, the land is cheaper and that's why they have done about that trend has accelerated in recent decades.
8:18am
you'll often get leaders of rural communities who once would have resisted having a prison they're going to their legislative leaders and begging them to build a prison for economic employment. that seems to me a very disturbing situation. first of all, we cannot come up with any other way in this help people in those rural areas gain reasonable employment. secondly, it is a problem because in most states, people in prison 10 to disproportionally come from low income urban areas. rural areas are often several hundred miles away which means it is difficult for families to visit and keep up those connections and have connections with potential employers so it exacerbates all the problems we have been talking about. host: a viewer asks -- bob woodward, many years ago, taught us to follow the money.
8:19am
there is money in building prisons. as mark said, they are built in ofal areas because a lot rural politicians have disproportionate amount of power and it becomes a job program. strongerprobably no indicator of whether somebody will come back into prison than if they go back out of prison into an intact family. family can be intact. their chances of coming back to prison are a lot less. when you can build resins 500 miles away or send them to an out-of-state prison, they come mostly from the inner-city's and many of them have low economic status and they cannot afford to go there and rent a motel room with gas and travel. it does not help to keep the family intact. i think we need to pay a lot of attention to that. the caller also talked about the
8:20am
humanity. i could not agree more. is an issue of compassion for our fellow human beings. we are just not treating these people right. many of them should not going to present but when they are there, many of them are abused and it is horrendous conditions. california prisons are a disaster. you have sometimes 50, 80 inmates with one toilet. onges have come down hard the governor, governor brown. it is horrendous. guest: california is in the midst of a prison reduction of more than 30,000 people because the supreme court said the conditions were unconstitutional. it is a natural experiment so what is happening is that people who formerly would have been a state prison are being kept in local counties. some of them are being held in jails and many are being supervised in a community setting instead. during the first several years of this very substantial reduction, there has been no
8:21am
adverse effect on crime rates in california. crime rates continue to go down or stay as low as they are around the country. a goodturn out to be demonstration that you can achieve substantial reductions without harming public safety. host: i would think if you rake a federal law come you go to federal prison but what are the roles about state resins? guest: most of the crimes will be state crimes. think of asonly state street crimes of his property crimes come mostly violent crimes. federal crimes require federal intervention. it is interstate drug trafficking rings, organized crimes, crimes committed on federal property and the like. host: how do private prisons factor in? guest: that goes to state and federal governments and go with the promise that we can do it cheaper for use of give us a contract and we will keep people house. the research to date, the general accounting office, just not show that the cost
8:22am
differential turns out to be anything significant. in many cases, there has been some role problems and lack of of theg and oversight staffing in private prisons. the private prisons are essentially saying we will do it cheaper and we will also turn a profit for our shareholders. the main what you can do that is by paying your guards less and doing less training for them. unfortunately, that has brought problems with it. money you can also save in public prisons as opposed to private prisons. and sohe quality of food many things suffer and prisoners suffer and that does not help anybody. host: here is maurice from knoxville, tennessee, go ahead. caller: thank you. applaud eric holder pause recent stance how standards are being applied to low level drug offenses. i think there is real injustice within the federal prison system.
8:23am
noce 1984, there has been parole in the prison system for 9000 offenders. paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to go through this prison system, including myself, many ofeated that way, them are first-time offenders. i don't hear anything about reinstating federal parole. can you talk about that? thinking thatust for whatever reason, republican presidents and democratic theidents do not exercise only unilateral power they have. in the constitution, there is one area they have total say over. they don't have to go to congress for anything. that is in the pardon, commutation.
8:24am
there are thousands and thousands of people they could help and send back into the communities, and to their families by using the pardon and the commutation authority that they have. it is just shocking that presidents don't do that. guest: the caller is mentioning how much time people spend in prison. the prison population is determined by how many people resent a prison and how long we keep them there. has received too little attention is the extreme length of sentences. it is not only for nonviolent crimes but for people convicted of some violent crimes, two. to get a case where an 18-year- old kid is hanging around with a wrong kid involved in a wrong -- in an armed robbery and he gets a life sentence. later, hem 20 years is now a 40-year-old who has grown up in prison, essentially, and some of them may be a threat to public safety and some of them have changed.
8:25am
a way to look at those cases so we don't automatically assume that everyone is incapable change. guest: i would like to identify with that comment, i agree. when you do something at 18, you're a different person. you need to not get back to a one-size-fits-all. let's look at each individual case. 85% of youris the sentence come from? guest: when they adopted the guidelines, the idea was to remove discretion in large part from the system. the argument was discretion could be abused which it can certainly. one thing was to control the sentencing of judges but also so that discretion and a parole decision would not factor in. if you're sentenced to 10 years, the most you can get off for it is 10%.avior then we have very long sentences
8:26am
with a modest amount of time that can be taken off for good behavior. guest: i think that should be looked at, two. host: as far as how long, has that changed? guest: people have a long sentence and there is little opportunity for parole, that is not conducive to good behavior. outrageous that we require people to serve 85% or more of their prison term without any ability for a judge to review it. next fromnd is up lakeland, florida. caller: good morning. i am calling to address the situation. it is about the money. if you think about it, everything about the money. if you think about after prohibition, look at all the money the medical industry makes due to alcoholism or the cigarette and tobacco industry. they make a lot of money. legalized it and kept a
8:27am
prohibition, maybe there would not be so many alcoholics spending time in prison for dui. myself and ii's have experienced how far the money claims. kleins. the more money they make and get you into the system, they keep pumping it into the system. it keeps people working. you're not going to stop that and that's why they are privatizing so many prisons. there is money to be made in it. host: thank you. auburn, newt from york, corrections official, hello. hello, i am a correction officer. saidrd was right when he it was about money and it is about jobs. that seems to be what i see. it is a complicated process. i have watched this prison overm grow personnel-wise
8:28am
the 33 years i have worked in it. i am retired. i just wanted to give you my two cents worth. talk a little about the overcrowding we have been talking about. how do you see it layout day to when you go to work? guest: all prisons are crowded. caller: there is a demand to put people in prison. i don't see it in the particular prison i am in. we probably have a population of about 1700 and that prison. if you want to talk about -- there is another affect of prison, the people who work there. we have about 700 employees in that prison. maybe 800, i'm not quite sure. the officers have probably gone
8:29am
up by 200 since the time i started in 1980. it is a process. it is a government bureaucracy. prisons are a stressful environment. they are stressful for the prisoners and stressful for the guards and people who run them. they -- inherently we are putting people in cages that don't want to be there. is if 95% of the people who go to are coming home day, what should that environment look like? it seems to me we should not have an overcrowded situation. we should provide them with adequate healthcare and and, for so many people who have had poor education and connections with the world of work, we need to do everything we can to prepare them to have a legitimate lifestyle when they get out. host: as far as the transition between someone in the system and they are heading out, what
8:30am
does that do for the larger topic of overcrowding? basically, the more we can keep people from going back and cycling through, the better off we all are. it means fewer people committing crimes and your people in crimes -- in presence. resins are inherently damaging to people. removing people from their community, put them in a highly stressful environment -- we are far better off trying to avoid sending people to prison in the first place and hoping we can turn them around once they are there because a lot of harm has been done. in programs and interventions that strengthen the capacity of families and communities to prevent crime in the first place by looking at alternatives to incarceration and supervise people in the community and deal with those issues -- that is a far better pay off in the long run. commented thater
8:31am
prisons are a bureaucracy and they certainly are. recent the conservatives have begun to realize that the criminal justice system as part of the government. because it is part of the government, it's got all the problems of any other government program. waste, fraud, and abuse. it is just broken and very serious and in need of repair. one thing we have not talked about today that i know is an issue of concern to mark and issue.is the mental we have many people in prison who have serious mental issues and they need to get different treatment. they don't need to be put into solitary confinement. they will just deteriorate. we need to address the serious mental issues that we have in this country. we can't just warehouse people in prison. " the wall street journal"
8:32am
defines a drug court. guest: the idea was simple that there are many people coming into court charged with a crime or the underlying problem is really substance abuse is driving them to get money or have trouble controlling their behavior. drug court says why don't we try treatment first rather than incarceration in appropriate cases? if we can do a underlying substance abuse problem, we hope we can reduce the incidence of crime. there are now some 2800 drug courts around the country, judges embrace them, communities embrace them. overall, the research shows to date that drug courts don't work miracles. substance abuse is complicated by people who go through them successfully are somewhat less likely to commit crimes and somewhat less likely to use substances. can we useallenge is these drug courts to diverge
8:33am
people from incarceration? sometimes we don't look necessarily at the tougher cases where we could save more money by averting people from prison. that's what we need to be looking at. it shows there is public acceptance of doing the right income and making interventions in different ways. host: oceanside, california, good morning. caller: how are you doing? prison inve years in california about 20 years ago. they transfer you all over the place. my crime is a higher type of offense. now that i am out and i have been out for a long time, i have worked with parole officers and will tellograms and i you, these guys are close but they are still far off. all, you should never
8:34am
let someone in -- out. the of the people in their, drugs drove them to whatever they did to get the drugs. it is a money game inside these prisons. these guys are basically babysitters retiring with $90,000 per year. when you are in prison, your these yards every day. i walked fulsome and san quentin and the worst yards and i have seen what these people are like and how the guards treat everybody in there. there is no type of developmental skills offered in those prisons. once you walk into a prison, you come out a marked man for life. you have no incentive for any of these guys coming out of prison to go straight because they are marked with a felony. host: what about the attorney general's efforts to change the sentencing?
8:35am
what do you think about that? isler: the reason there crowding in prisons because these guys have no hope when they get out. they are stuck with a felony for the rest of their life and they are marked. can pullway everybody up your background, these guys are done. they know it and they go out and bump their heads thousand times to get work and they go right back to crime again. once you give these guys some hope that are in prison, you say you go straight, we will wipe out the felony, after 10 or 15 years, then they have something to work for. now, any man who walks into a prison in the united states cannot get their felonies expunged or cannot do anything off their record and it never, ever will work. host: thank you for the perspective. guest: one interesting point is that -- i applaud him -- it sounds like having been
8:36am
imprisoned 20 years ago, he is still working with people in prison who are out now. see that too seldom, quite frankly. usually people come out of prison and don't want have anything to do with it again and put it behind them. he is still helping those who are there and in the system and i applaud that. one of the many things we can look at is legislators and governors ,etc is licensing to get a job when you get out as a harbor or any mechanic. license manyet times and you cannot get a license if you have been in prison. it is seriously broken trying to help these people when they get out. why should the fact that you are in prison years ago prevent you from getting a barbers license? host: what about the prison record? guest: it has gotten worse in recent records because of -- recent decades because of
8:37am
legislation. 1994, congress required that pell grants help pay for college education but they could not be used by people in prison. there used to be hundreds of community colleges trying to help people get an education. those have been decimated since then. congress in the 1990s also passed welfare legislation saying if you have a drug felony, it will be a lifetime ban on receiving welfare benefits or food stamps. there are restrictions on public housing and the right to vote. you may think you're getting out of prison and coming back into the community but as the caller said, you are marked for life. we really never give that up. host: the reason some people had back to prison as once they are out, they have to make the daily decision of life and they are not doing that well because they have been in a system where they did not have to do it. guest: of course, many people point out that if you go away for five-10 years, you have missed the digital revolution and may not know how to use the
8:38am
web and many things we take for granted. the world has passed you by. it is a very difficult and to figure out how to catch up and do that quickly. availablear as what's in the prison system or maybe in the federal system to help in that transition -- are improvements needed there? guest: absolutely, the money being spent to build new prisons and house prisoners could be spent on helping these people get back into the community and earn a job. mark made some very good points about -- i was in a woman's prison a few months ago and a woman i was visiting there told me that the nice building across the street looked like a library and used be a college library. she has allowed the go there for 15 minutes once per week. how is that going to help her get back into the community? host: if you're just joining us, we are talking about crime and prisons.
8:39am
we are talking about overcrowding in prisons in light of announcements made by the attorney general this week. lydia is from upper marlboro, maryland, good morning. caller: the drug courts are a godsend. 16 years ago, i had a son that started using drugs after the death of his son but he is gainfully -- he was gainfully employed the whole time in the first time he attempted to send a $10 bag of drugs, he sold it to an undercover officer. arrested and luckily he lived in the district of columbia. his case was sent to the drug court because he is a first-time offender. after probation report because an officer of the court called and spoke to me, he was ordered into drug treatment, second genesis, for six months. after 30 days, he was allowed to have visitors and we saw him every week. individual therapy, group therapy and when he was released, he still had to continue therapy with a 12-step
8:40am
program and get a job which he did and go to the court every week for drug treatment -- drug trest -- drug testing. 16 years later, he has been clean ever since, gainfully employed, and a productive member of society and i thank god for the drug courts. trenton, michigan, christopher, good morning. caller: son but he is gainfully -- he was gainfully employed the whole time in the first time he attempted to send a $10 bag of drugs, good mornin. i wanted to talk about education and programs available. i was previously incarcerated act in 1996. in michigan. there were no programs available. i was the only person i had ever met that had done this -- i was switched around between four prisons in 2.5 years. coursesd take college
8:41am
but you would have to pay cash or you would have to have the money to do so. you would have to have family. you guys have already talked about -- luckily, i had a good family that helped me out and i was able to take university courses and continue my education when i got out. however, i did not have a drug crime. note that if to you have a drug crime and especially nowadays, everyone is going for some kind of secondary training or post-high school training, there are no industrial jobs left. they just don't exist. it is like eight percent of jobs available. prisons talked about but there is a graphic in the "all street journal
8:42am
how do other countries deal with this problem>? guest: the united states has become the world leader in how we use incarceration. our of it is explained by greater violent crime rate but that is only a part of it. basically, most other industrialized nations have less long-term prison sentences. people to prison generally speaking but they don't send them for nearly as long as we do here. thieferage burglar or car , drug possession thief, will get less time in canada, england, and france. as is not a scientific process where we determine exactly if five years or 10 years is appropriate. it is cultural and political and other nations have taken a different approach. i think they are getting much better results. host: jan up next, irving, texas.
8:43am
caller: thank you for taking my call. when did we -- when did the taxpayers start paying for private prisons and who started that program? of people in jail for smoking pot, it seems kind of silly since it is becoming legal. that could reduce the population. the private prison industry started in the mid- 1980s when prison operators came to state and local governments. it has been much more of growth with the federal government rather than the states and this is true for democratic and republican administrations. color that there's is not a lot of people in prison for smoking pot. people get arrested for selling marijuana but the drug offenders and most prisons are there for cocaine, crack, heroin, methamphetamine. it does not necessarily mean they need to be there at that for the state to deal with it --
8:44am
or that's the best way to deal with ability to look at these issues. guest: before our time is up, i want to make an important point which i have brought up several times is that we have identified many areas that we can agree on, republican, it democrat, conservative, and liberal -- we don't need to identify the difficult issues that will divide us but there are so many issues out there. one issue i cannot get out of my head is 37 states right now have, on the books, a law that if you are a woman in prison giving birth, you must be shackled. your hands must be tied, your feet must be tied. how barbaric is that? they think she might run off. it is just barbaric. 37 states have that law on the books. we can all agree on that. let's get rid of those laws. there are many other examples that republicans and democrats
8:45am
and conservatives can come together on and move this process forward. it is a humane thing to do. does this issue affect the juvenile system as well as far as overcrowding? guest: it is very similar. there have been horrendous conditions for many juvenile institutions. the good news is that there has been quite a bit of movement there. the number of kids that are held in secure institutions has in declining quite substantially over the last decade. there is a reduction of about 1/3 nationally and i think it's because people are coming together and looking at the research and rain development issues and looking at what works with kids. as harmful as institutional life can be for adults, it is probably much worse for kids in their developmental years, taking them out of circulation and all that. we have seen development of s with no-approache adverse on public safety.
8:46am
host: one more call from tucson, arizona, from i can caller: -- from a corrections worker. good morning. i will try to be brief. years, recently retired as an administrator with the department of justice, federal bureau of prisons -- real quick -- a majority of inmates i have seen in federal prison system, the majority of inmates are illegals, aliens that have been caught transporting drugs into ,he united states from mexico that's one, and the other ones are native americans that commit crimes on reservations. those are the majority of inmates you will see in the federal prison systems. i have rarely ever seen an
8:47am
individual who is caught with a couple of grams of anything and sent to a federal prison. if they do, they have a rap sheet as long as my arm. they have committed armed robberies, home invasions, everything you can think of and they have committed a federal offense. host: any comments? guest: there are many people in prison who have long rap sheets and many things have happened. maybe we did not do good interventions early on. not everybody in prison is a low level drug offender. we've gotten to the point that by focusing resources inappropriately, i think, and givenively, we have not ourselves the opportunity to make distinctions between people who present a truth that to the community and people who can be handled better through other means. host: as we stop this discussion
8:48am
today, where do we go forward as far as the populated -- as far as the prison population? should be next? what should we look out for? guest: the legislators -- at the local level, city, county, state officials should begin to look at these issues and begin to address them. that's where the real progress is going to be made. we have talked about only 14% of the federal prisoners are in federal prisons and they are in there for pretty serious things. there are not a lot of low level drug users in federal prisons. the progress will have to take place at the state level and we need to move forward. you talked earlier about the a well-s in prison -- known motivational speaker years ago said the person you are right now, you will be that same person in 10 years except for
8:49am
two things -- the books you read and the people you associate with. we send these 18-year-olds in for one offense and they will come out in five or 10 years far worse than when they went in. the attorney general's call is a rallying cry for the whole country and initially for congress to do with they should be doing but around the country as well. to hear this message coming from the top and building on a decade or more of change and reconsideration of policies, i think, should give us hope we can move forward in the next decade and achieve fewer people in prison and continued reductions in crime. host: we have been talking vigmarc mauer and richard ueire thank you for your time. about up, we will talk the proposed merger between airline giants, american airlines and us airways being complicated now by a lawsuit by the justice department.
8:50am
a wall street journal reporter will explain why as " washington journal" continues after this. ♪ ♪ ♪ >> if we turn away from the needs of others, we deny ourselves -- we align ourselves with those wars is that are bringing about this suffering. an's is a bully pulpit and you should take advantage. >> obesity in this country is nothing short of a public health crisis. someone has their own agenda. >> is just a shame to waste it. >> i think they serve as a to what wase past
8:51am
going on with american women. >> she becomes the chief confidant. in a way, the only one in the world he can trust. >> many of the women who were first ladies were writers. were journalists and they wrote books. >> they are, in many cases, more likely more interesting as human beings than their husbands if only because they are not first and foremost to find by political ambitions. >> edith roosevelt is one of the unsung heroes per you go to the white house today, it is really edith roosevelt's white house. this statement has left a little breathless and there was too much looking down and i think it was a little too fast. there was not enough change of pace. >> yes, ma'am. >> i think in every case, the has doney is --
8:52am
whatever for her personality and her interest. >> she later wrote in her + i,r that she said myself, never made any decision. i only were journalists and they decided what was important and when to present it to my husband. howstop and think about much power that is, it is a lot of power. it part of the battle against cancer is to fight the fear that accompanies the disease. >> she transformed the way we bugaboos and made it possible for countless people to survive and to flourish as a result. i don't know how many presidents rails -- realistically have the kind of impact on how we live our lives. >> just walking around the white house grounds, i am constantly reminded about all of the people who have lived there before and
8:53am
particularly, all of the women. a c-spant ladies," original series produced with the white house historical society. part two premieres tuesday night. " washington journal" continues. --t: johnny is from chicago joining us from chicago, we will talk about the proposed merger united us airways and airlines print why is this complicated? guest: on tuesday, the justice department moved to block the merger. basically, they are arguing that after years of consolidation in the u.s. airline industry, this merger would go too far. it would be anti-competitive and more allow the airlines to
8:54am
easily raise fares, raise fees, and reduced service. host: as far as the lawyers for the people representing the airlines, what do they make of the department of justice argument? guest: the airlines are vowing to vigorously defend their proposed merger. they are saying the justice department suit does not have meat on its bones and that the argument is a sweeping argument that does not make any good points. they say they are planning to argue that this merger actually is procompetitive. giantsre two big airline in the world right now, delta air lines and united continental. both of the product of recent mergers approved by the justice department of those two airlines are significantly larger than american airlines right now. american is saying we need to join with us airways to sufficiently compete with these two larger airlines. they say this will be good for flyers. say they will have three
8:55am
competitive airlines. host: decides -- besides the besides the department of justice, we have attorneys general guest: involved in this? guest:they are coming from states where guest: this proposed airline, the new american, would have hubs or their key airports like in texas or california and north carolina. these are sort of attorneys general that are looking out for their residents and their cities and the ones who stand to be most affected by this merger. i, the attorney general from florida, wrote an op-ed today. +
8:56am
guest: she is correct that american when it's a bankruptcy in late 2011. its plan for more than one year as it went through bankruptcy was to emerge as a stand-alone carrier. their chief executive, tom horton, was very strong on this and said we don't need to merge. they said we can emerge as a standalone and the a carrier and compete. earlier this year, we saw the creditors of american disagree and they ultimately said the merger was the best way for this carrier to survive. that is how they are going forward. from the, this suit justice department of the merger complicates american's agate from bankruptcy. -- exit from bankruptcy. a hearingsaid to have on the reorganization plan was to merge with us airways. the bankruptcy judge in that hearing on thursday said that i
8:57am
cannot make a decision. we've got this big problem with the justice department challenging this merger so why don't you both filed reason we will come back in two weeks. not only is this complicating things for the merger itself but complicating things for american's bankruptcy. host: the department of justice suing american airlines and us airways as far as their merger is concerned. we will answer your questions about it. if you want to ask a question -- you talked about these mergers that have taken place before. talk a little about the current environment as far as justice department stepping in on this one and then allowing other ones in years past. guest: it is an interesting question. many in the airline industry expected the justice department to approve this merger because over the past eight years, they
8:58am
have an approved for other large mergers. in thousand five, america west inge with us airways and 2008, delta and northwest merged and 2010, united and continental and in 2011 southwest and air tyrtrans. if this goes through, you would have more than 80% of the u.s. seats control by four carriers and that is a change from 8-10 characters from a decade ago. the justice department, however, and it's suit tuesday said we approve these past mergers but we have seen what happens after we approve these mergers. carriers have reduced service and cut lying and increased fares. , i, this last merger understand with dummies other ones,, but this one goes too far. we have already seen what has happened and we have consolidated this industry too much. we need to keep these to carry a separate in order to increase
8:59am
competition in the industry. host: do their arguments hold water in your opinion? guest: it is a difficult case. this will be litigated and it will be up to the antitrust judge in this case. obviously, the carriers have a good position in that there is potential for this to help flyers. there will be more options for american and us airways flyers to connect to their combined network which will be more expensive than global. economicon a pure scale, you're going to have less competitors in the industry so therefore, you are going to have less competition. host: our guest is joining us to talk about the proposed merger and her first call is wayne, greensburg, kentucky, on our republican line, good morning. caller: good morning. the question is -- why don't they mention how many times is airlines have taken bankruptcy over the past couple of decades? important? that
9:00am
aller: caller: it doesn't seem right for a company to constantly talk bankruptcy. host: is there anything you want to take on there? guest: well, the airline industry is a very interesting industry for this point alone. you know, obviously wove seen a wave of bankruptcies over the past decade, and many more so than many other industries. but i think the reason you saw many -- much of this is because the airline industry is a very unique industry. in the 1970's, it was regulated. the government controlled what the airlines could charge. and when they deregulated the industry in 1978, it was a free-for-all, and many industries struggled how to make a profit in this environment. what you saw through the 1980's, into the 2000's, many of these airlines would chase market share rather than profit margins. they would add service and
9:01am
they'd end up flying a lot of empty planes around, just to say that they served that market. and however, you also have to consider, you know, september 11 in 2001 was a joy began particular hit to this industry -- was a gigantic hit for this industry. that significantly reduced the demand for flights. we saw that rash of bankruptcies just following the terrorist attacks in 2001. host: there's the same point this morning in a column in the "new york times," first came 9/11, then came volatile fuel prices between 2000 and 2012, it rose to more than $50 billion. this goes back to operating costs as well. guest: absolutely. fuel is a major factor. if anything, i probably should have mentioned that first. we've had a big surge in the price of jet fuel, and this is the airline's biggest cost, by far, and they've tried to in turn raise fares and try to raise fees to offset these increasing costs. but it's still a very competitive industry, and it's
9:02am
difficult to increase fares when some of your competitors are holding strong. host: gulfport, mississippi, steve on our republican line. caller: i just wanted to make a couple of comments. one, i'm happy that the department of justice is trying to keep this merger from occurring. but the biggest problem that the airline industry has is that they have terrible, horrible customer service. they ou pay for a ticket, do not guarantee the plane will take off on time, they don't guarantee the plane will arrive on time, and if you happen to be landing in an airport where you have to switch from one airplane to another airplane, they don't even guarantee that they'll land on time and give you now time to get to the second departure or second leg of your trip on to your destination. the biggest problem the airline industry has is a total lack of
9:03am
customer service or customer concern, and that is why there aren't as many people flying as there should be, and that is why they are now charging for things like a bag, ok, if you bring a bag with you, they now charge you for that, and they're nick and he will diming everybody to death, if you will, and then they wonder why they don't have money to pay for fuel and why they're flying empty planes around. it all goes back to horrible customer service. guest: well, i think the airlines would say to this argument, which obviously i think we've all flown, and we've all had incidents where the customer service wasn't where we expected it to be. obviously i think we've all had instances where a flight was delayed or cancelled, and that's very frustrating and disrupting to our travel plans. i think the airline's response is flying is a very complex business. you know, there's a lot of things outside of the airline's control. you have weather events and a lot of other things like that.
9:04am
safety is always the first priority of airlines. that's what happens a lot of the times. when you see delays and you see cancellations, it's sometimes the airlines don't feel that it's safe to fly. there's also maintenance issues they need to make sure the planes are in top-notch condition in order to fly. so obviously that's going to create some delays and cancellations and obviously it's going to upset some flyers. host: are there connections between what we see as far as fees for bags and things along that nature and the series of consolidations we've seen in the past? guest: it's a very good question. obviously the increase in what they call ancillary fees in the airline industry is upsetting the flyers. >> certainly during, you know, the increase in fees has come amid this industry consolidation. one would think there may be a connection here. it's difficult to say, but what we can say for sure is, you know, when one airline increases its fees, the other airlines almost certainly follow. southwest obviously is the anomaly here. you know, it's because the
9:05am
airlines see this as a new opportunity to increase their margins, this is for a very long time, as we said, has been an unstable industry, an industry that has destructed a lot of capital. finally the airlines are finding a way to create more money. it's also important to note that some of the leaders in the industry, on raising these fees, are the smaller airlines such as a spirit airlines or an aliege ant air, which are this new breed of ultralow-cost carriers, and these have nothing to do with the industry consolidation. they're relatively small, but they're the ones introducing fees for even carry-on bags, which are the ones you put in the overhead bin. host: as far as the existing airlines, who benefits most and who benefits least from this proposed merger? guest: it's also a very good question. you know, one would think that united and delta would benefit the least from the merger, because suddenly you would have a much stronger competitor in american airlines to compete for corporate customers and sort of compare their big global network against. but it's interesting. you know, all of the airlines
9:06am
say that they want this merger to happen in one way or another, because consolidation is ultimately a net benefit for the industry. what this comes down to is capacity discipline in the industry. that's basically how many seats are flying in the u.s. right now. what would happen if you kept american and u.s. airways separate, you would likely see both try to grow organically, independently, in order to catch up to united and delta. that would in turn flood more flights, flood more seats into the market, and it would make more supply out there for the same amount of demand. however, if american and u.s. air wase came together, they would be a bigger carrier, but they would likely cut some flying. so it would be a net reduction in the seats out there. you'd have a lower supply for the same amount of demand. that would enable the airlines to increase their fares. host: york, pennsylvania, republican line. lois, good morning. caller: good morning. i was wondering if any -- after
9:07am
all this time and money, at the last minute coming in and blocking this, if there would be anything political aspect to this, maybe to get attention away from all the scandals and everything going on. i haven't read anything about that at all. >> it's difficult for me to comment on this. i have no idea if there is any political aspect to this. i think it's an interesting point. the justice department has had a lot of relatively bad news it's been dealing with lately. however, you know, also interesting on this point is that, you know, the justice department, the obama administration approved the merger of southwest and air tran. they approved the merger of united and continental. so, you know, this is a justice department and attorney general who's approved past mergers, and now he's taking a different stand. it's very difficult for me to say, and i really can't say whether or not there's political intentions behind this.
9:08am
host: the department of justice offers this, this is part of the release, the department sued to block this merger because it would eliminate competition between u.s. airways and american and put consumers at higher prices and reduced service. if this merger goes forward, even a small increase in the price of airline tickets, checked bags or fees would result in hundreds of millions of dollars to the american consumer. both airlines have stated they can succeed on a stand-alone basis, and consumers deserve the benefit of that continued competitive dynamic. any thoughts towards that argument or at least what they put out? guest: well, certainly that's sort of the crux of the justice department argument, that they really are trying to protect consumers here. they want to, you know, reduce the chance that you're going to have just a select few at the top of the airline industry who are able to raise fares and raise fees at their whim, and so they're trying to keep as many competitors in the market as they can. they specifically, in their suit, cited u.s. airways as being a price policemen on many
9:09am
routes, and they say consumers would lose that benefit through this merger. host: the price per lease, how does that work and how does that factor in? guest: so what happens is, on a certain route, i think in the justice department suit, they use miami. u.s. airways happens to have a one-stop connection. you know, it stops in charlotte between the two. but u.s. airways charges much less for that one-stop connection between miami and cincinnati compared to the american, united, and delta's nonstop fare. what they've seen is basically that u.s. airways keeps the americans and united and deltas honest on that route. they don't allow them to raise their fares too much, and they give customers who maybe can't afford, who need to get to miami and cincinnati, and don't really mind making a connection in charlotte, they give them a much cheaper option. host: in the business world section of the "wall street journal" this morning, there's
9:10am
an article about the merger, and he says -- guest: you know, it's another interesting point. what's interesting in the u.s. airline industry is there's two types of consumers. there are what they call the leisure consumers and basically the business customers, the folks who have, you know, the money to spend, but they're basically not spending their own money, and they need to travel on this day. they need to get there. the most important thing is about, you know, getting there and simplicity of service, etc. however, there's other ones, who are the price-conscious travelers. some airlines specifically chase leisure customers, such as spirit and the aliegets of the world that i mentioned
9:11am
earlier. but american, delta, united, u.s. airways, they're all really concerned about attracting more business customers and the folks who are going to be flying these nonstop fares. so if u.s. airways is pulling away, you know, some leisure customers on this miami-cincinnati route with its one-stop connection through charlotte, i don't think delta, united, and american are that worried about it, because they're really worried about competing against each other for these business customers who pay a much higher price, a premium on their ticket. sometimes they'll fly in business class or first class, and they're usually booking their fare much closer to when the flight is. host: 202-558-3818 for republicans. 202-585-3880 for democrats. d 202-585-3882 for independents. talking about the blocking of this proposed merger between american airlines and u.s. airways by the department of justice. we'll hear next from chris in massachusetts, independent line. go ahead. caller: thank you for taking my call. i want to touch on the first
9:12am
caller's comment about bankruptcy. there's a saying i've heard, which is that the safest airline is a bankrupt airline. that's because the airline no longer has to focus on profits and can actually focus on safety and so on. i want to get jack's thoughts on whether or not this industry should just go back to federal regulation. because when you look at the cost for the cost-conscious consumer to fly, you step back and look at the actual pricing, it is -- it's ridiculously low. you know, if i'm paying just a couple hundred dollars to fly from massachusetts to florida, and let's say they forget my -- they lose my luggage. they're going to pay $80 to deliver that luggage to my hotel. there's no profit in this at all. there's no potential for profit. without any profit, safety becomes -- gets sacrificed. i just don't see long-term
9:13am
viability of the industry. host: chris, thanks. mr. nicas? guest: it's a very interesting question. first, safety. we need to all keep in mind that right now we're living in the safest period in the modern time of commercial flying that we ever have. the last u.s. airline to have a deadly airline accident was in 2009, and that was a regional flight. and before that was some time. it really has been a very safe period for us, and i think, you know, the f.a.a. and the government really has a tight sort of lock on that and is keeping a close eye on it, and u.s. airlines really do make safety their first priority. on the other point of whether or not we should go back to a government-related industry, it's an interesting question. i think the argument on the other side of that would be, yes, you might have a guaranteed amount of service and airlines wouldn't be required to serve certain markets. you might have more flights in general. however, you would also have a situation where the airlines
9:14am
would not have much capital to invest in their product. the airlines make this argument that now that the industry has consolidated and has become healthier, they now can in turn buy new planes, invest in new seats, and invest in new products. it's trureks the airlines really are buying some -- the it's true. the airlines are really buying some nice, flew planes. the argument there is you may have some more guaranteed service to smaller cities, etc., but these might be on older planes or, you know, some older seats. so in the airline, the argument here is, a healthier industry is a better industry for flyers, because there's long-term stability, and as we get healthier and earn more money, we can, you know, we can serve more routes. the truth is the airlines industry for a long time obviously was not profitable. it went through many bankruptcies, as we spoke about. however, now, the industry has really turned a corner. delta airlines is making a lot of money.
9:15am
you know, more than a billion dollars now a year. united is going to be right behind them. southwest has been profitable for a very lock time. and even american, which is in bankruptcy right now, made more than $200 million in the second quarters. so, you know, there's a common misperception the airline business doesn't make money, but it actually, at this point, following consolidation and these capacity cuts, they're actually now doing ok. host: what's the average ticket price? guest: it's doyle say. you know, there's so many different metrics. for a round-trip domestic fare, it's in the mid 200's. i'm not exactly sure. it's also an interesting point. on an inflation-adjusted level, ticket prices are actually -- average fares are actually lower than the 1990's. and we've seen a slight increase over the past several years adjusted for inflation. it's still a relatively cheap experience, particularly if you don't have to check a bag.
9:16am
host: up next is bruce, joining from us arkansas, republican line, hello. caller: yes, hello. my comment is, i would like to know how the justice department considers itself an expert on airline markets. these are complex markets. the number of airlines that serve these markets is not something that is simply determined. these are natural forces that are acting here. if an airline gets too big, they become nonresponsive f. they're too small, they lose economies of scale. your guest there has made an excellent comment, and that is that airlines need to be profitable, and they need to be profitable to be to have buy the modern equipment. the modern equipment is safer, more fuel-efficient. it's all the things we expect markets to bring to us. and we have always -- the gut reaction, regulate, regulate, let the government control. the only monopoly we have
9:17am
that's giving us terrible service is our government. they're in no position to even understand what's going on. of course, when we travel, we're all anxious, and we all have anxieties. we have hotel reservations, the weather is interfering. airlines become a natural target, plus the t.s.a. has made flying a horrible experience. that's not the airline's fault. i want viewers to understand all these things. host: thank you. mr. nicas? guest: another interesting point. i think this argument has certainly been made among industry experts and analysts and consultants and the airlines themselves that, you know, the justice department suit talks a lot about what they think would happen or what they expect would happen after this merger. but the airline business is a very complex industry. it's very difficult to predict what will happen after a merger, you know, whether or not fares will go up or go
9:18am
down. the justice department obviously does have the benefit of hindsight now, looking at these past mergers they have approved in recent years, and they are right. what they've seen following these mergers in general has been a reduction in service and increase in fares. and so, one would assume that they're correct here to make the assumption that this would happen again with the american and u.s. airways merger. but i think again, there's a larger question here that maybe we'll see some reductions in service. maybe we'll see some increasing fares following the merger. but will we see a healthier industry long term, and will that be a net benefit for flyers down the road? host: on twitter, there's a comment that the regulation always leads to new players and then mega mergers. guest: i think that's an interesting comment as well, and i think one analogy you can do is, in the train industry, not necessarily deregulation, but another network industry, the trains have gone through a big period of consolidation and
9:19am
aof struggles, and now they're doing much better. there was a lot of mega mergers, and now you have several train companies and rail companies in the country, but they're obviously doing much better than they were decades ago. host: our guest writes about the airline industry and other issues out of chicago for the "wall street journal." he's jack nicas, joining us to talk about this lawsuit from the department of justice on the proposed merger between american airlines and u.s. airways. ann is up next. thank you for waiting, from new york, independent line. go ahead. caller: hi. i'd like to make a statement regarding the best commodities that all airlines have, and that's the employees. no one has spoken about how these actions have negatively affected all the benefits that the employees earned. no one has given an employee anything. they earned it. and so for united airlines in particular to disregard all of the hard work that their employees did over the years,
9:20am
and i worked for them for 30 years, and to see the disregard for retirees and for other people, it is ridiculous, and the government does need to step in. in fact, my comment is they should nix all of those mergers, go back and review what the company's commitments were to those employees, and based on all of the findings, which will be large and not very well, then american and u.s. air should merge, but based on the new rules and regulations, this has to stop, you can bet s, your number one dollar, within a matter of moss, the airlines can charge you for whatever they want and how much they want, and they will not regard anything that you or i may say. i thank you for your time. guest: another interesting point. i think it is important to mention the employees here. and this is particularly important when you're
9:21am
discussing bankruptcies. there are hundreds of thousands of airline workers who saw their pensions cut and, you know, their salaries reduced. in this very troubling time for the airline industry in the 2000's, and that should not be lost in all of this. you know, they were certainly victims of a lot of the -- of the lack of success of these airlines. you know, it was a very difficult period for everyone involved. at the same time, you also have an american airlines. there were obviously a very contentious battle with their flight attendants and ground work urs through their bankruptcy, and american sought to cut their pensions. that was a long, pro tracted fight. they ultimately agreed to freeze their pensions. but now, it's interesting. you actually have american and u.s. airways, the two americans on the same side as all the big labor unions in this merger. the u.s. airways pilots, flight attendants from both airlines, gate agents, nearly every worker involved in this memorier wants it to happen.
9:22am
because it is going to mean a net benefit, in their words, for their salaries and their working conditions. it's going to be a bigger, more healthy airline for them to get pay increases and have better working conditions. so it's interesting. you have the justice department making a challenge here to enjoy this merger, and you have on the other side the labor union saying no, we want this to happen. host: the responsibility to unions, does it play a big part about bankruptcy or when decisions are made about mergers and those issues? guest: absolutely. in the bankruptcy court, you know, the unions are some of the biggest stakeholders. they're some of the biggest creditors. they have a very big say on what the airline does in bankruptcy. in many ways, it's the most difficult fight the airline is going to have in bankruptcy. it's the biggest cost. you know, obviously they can't do anything about their fuel costs necessarily, but they can do something about their cost of labor. automatically, one of the first things airlines look at when
9:23am
they enter bankruptcy is how do we cut our costs on labor. they do that through a variety of ways. typically they have very big pensions for a long time in this industry, but they also can do, you know, more creative things, what they call scope, and that's basically, they have contracts with the pilots that the pilots of the american airlines have to fly every type of plane. now the airlines have more flexibility, and they can actually contract out some of the smaller planes to other smaller airlines and basically outsource the pilots. host: next up is keith from washington, d.c., independent line. hi. caller: hey, good morning. so, jack, i had a quick question for you regarding the justice department. does the justice department try to intervene on the merger, with the merger of continent and united airlines? host: the merger between continental and united, and if the justice department intervened.
9:24am
guest: they do not intervene. they had a slight intervention, and basically they asked for a concession of slots, which are takeoff and landing slots, positions at an airport. it was a very minor request, and the airlines complied. they basically just were concerned about the competition at one specific airport. but no, for the most part, they let that merger through, and the same case with the american -- the u.s. airways and america west merger in 2005, delta, northwest, and southwest and air tran in 2011. the last time the justice department moved to block a big airline merger was in 2001 etween united and u.s. airways. they said that would be anti-competitive. the airlines dropped their plans to merge. host: so now that the justice department has made their decision, what's the possibility that this will actually go through a trial or what's the possibility that some type of settlement can be reached? guest: it's the key question now. you know, what happens from
9:25am
here and what are the chances for this merger to either happen or not? it's anybody's guess at this point. there's certainly going to be conversations between the justice department and the airlines and their lawyers over how they can either get this deal done or not. the airlines are saying that they're hoping to reach a settlement and maybe they're going to have to make concessions, specifically at reagan national airport in washington, d.c., where the new airline will have a very strong position, controlling more than 2/3 of the slots. the airlines are willing to make some concessions and hopefully get a settlement. but the justice department, the antitrust chief told us just several days ago they think the best course of action here is a full injunction. they don't want this merger to happen. given that the two sides are very far apart and hearing different things from the two sides, it seems likely this is going to go to trial. ultimately it's going to be up to the judge in this case. host: i even read yesterday that the airlines put our their lawyers to talk to reporters, which usually they circle around and let the proceedings take their course.
9:26am
guest: absolutely. it was a very rare move for the airlines to make their top antitrust lawyers available to us, the reporters, and it goes to show how strongly they feel about their position here. you know, the airlines are going to fight this very hard. i would be very surprised to see american and u.s. airways drop this outright. i think if this merger doesn't happen, it's likely going to come from a decision from the judge. host: jack nicas joins from us chicago. he writes for the "wall street journal" on airline issues. you can find his writing at wsj.com. art is joining us from kansas, republican line, go ahead. caller: yes, i have a couple of quick questions. one, is would a merger like this reduce the incidences that we occasionally hear where passengers sit for hours on end on a tarmac due to unknown reasons? and they're want allowed to deboard the plane. it's kind of like illegal
9:27am
confinement when they do that, in my opinion. my other question, esoteric, i guess, is the -- it deals with the t.s.a. one thing i've always wondered why this doesn't happen, is why we don't have cameras focused on the actions of t.s.a. people that they have no control of so people have some ritz are you bigse when they pull something they should not. that's my two questions. guest: on the first question regarding passengers being held on the tarmac, obviously this is an unfortunate incident with the airline industry. i don't think anyone wants this to happen. i, fortunately, have never had to experience this, but you hear horror stories certainly of passengers being trapped on board on the tarmac for hours at a time. congress passed a law, i believe, that prohibited this sort of thing and fined the airlines for this. we've seen several fines that this has happened, and airlines seem to be getting better about this. it's obviously, you know, a
9:28am
terrible thing when it happens, but, you know, i think something that hopefully is decreasing. on the second point regarding cameras, i'm not sure i totally understand the question, but i believe it's about whether or not there are surveillance cameras or something on t.s.a. -- host: well, i guess he was talking about, why don't they have some type of surveillance cameras, what have you, to monitor t.s.a. activity. guest: i believe they do. i'm not an expert on this, but i believe airport security operations are monitored via surveillance video, but i'm not an expert on that matter. host: as far as airline operations, what determines if an airline is being run well, in your opinion? you write about the industry and things like that. what factors go into -- a lot of people have mentioned southwest as a standout. i don't want to give them commercial, obviously, but they've mentioned that. what determines what stands out from the rest as far as airlines are concerned?
9:29am
>> well, it's a question of how do you measure success? do you measure success by the customer satisfaction or do you measure success by, you know, the financial success and the rurp for investors? you know, it's a very interesting point on this topic, because what we've seen typically, particularly as of late in the industry, there's an inverse relationship between the customer satisfaction of an airline and the airline's profit margins. in general, the airlines that are making the most money in general, particularly, are the most profitable in terms of margins, are typically worst rated by customers. one example is spirit airlines.e is spirit they say they have customers that understand the business model. they do well with the business model. the almost always have the lowest fares in certain markets. on the reverse side, the airlines that have the highest customer satisfaction scores are
9:30am
often struggling the most financially. the example in that case would be virgin america. it is this chic airline in san francisco. it is a very popular. it is a beautiful airline to five. it has struggled since it was founded in 2007. it has lost hundreds of millions of dollars. it is an interesting point. customers love southwest as well because it has this cool reputation and feel. they do not charge for bad. they have been successful with that business model for a long time. they are now having an identity crisis. they have had to raise fares recently. some analysts question the decision not to charge four bucks. they are stuck in the middle. the airlines that will satisfy customers may be giving fares away too cheap.
9:31am
those airlines that are nickel fulliming customers have airplanes. by contrast, they are the most financially successful. host: sandy from florida on the independent line. if there was wondering have been any numbers written about the number of employees there will be laid off because of mergers. i am assuming there will be duplicates services. thank you. guest: that is a good question. i am not sure of specific numbers in any case. there are certainly going to be some layoffs because of overlap between the airlines. i think the majority of the overlap would come in and administrative roles. many executives would be leaving. already american and u.s. airways are making announcements about the new leadership of the airline. you are seeing a lot of top- level executives not included on
9:32am
the list. they were packing their bags ready to go. it will be at headquarters where a lot of positions will be cut. just because these airlines are merging, you still need to fly the planes with pilots, flight attendants, and ticket agents. a lot of those crown level employees would be retained in the merger. host: one more call from steve in maryland on the democrats' line. caller: a want to ask about. consolidators. -- air consolidators. when i worked in the travel business in the 1960's, 1970's, air consolidators at half prices because they had bulk seats on the airlines.
9:33am
host: ticket consolidators is what you are talking about. guest: i do not remember the time in the 1960's or 1970's when this might have been happening. i am not familiar if it is happening today. the distribution system and practice of buying fares is very different today than it was back in the 1970's. travel agencies were very prominent. now the internet is the main avenue for many fliers to buy fares. they have a much clearer picture of what are available through the online agencies. in many ways, it is a more transparent industry in terms of what airlines are charging. tot: what is the next thing look out for? talk about american. it was going into bankruptcy proceedings. this merger was part of that. what should viewers be looking for? guest: the next up is you still
9:34am
have two parallel processes. the american bankruptcy proceedings and the potential for an antitrust trial. i think attention should be on the antitrust trial because the bankruptcy will depend on whether the justice department is willing to approve the merger. if the justice department is successful in its challenge of the merger and the judge rules it should be enjoined, you are going to have american go back into bankruptcy and, with a new plan of reorganization. iners should think about it two ways. you either have a situation where you will have a new combined bigger airline. be three or would four big airlines that control most of the seats. but he would also have three or four strong competitors and it was still be a competitive industry. if the merger is blocked, you have american and u.s. airways
9:35am
going at it independently. there are questions over house successful they could be. american likely would survive and be successful airlines, but they would not have as extensive a global network. it almost depends on what city you live in whether you would be affected by the merger. either way, the airline industry will be -- remain competitive and fliers will be ok. you forck nicas, thank your time. in our final part of the program, we will look at stories from the papers and give you a chance to participate in open phones. we will do that after this break. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] we are standing inside .ardscrabble,
9:36am
in her memoirs, she lets us know she does not like it. she found it crude and homely. true to her nature, she will make the best of it. as a young married woman, she would want to be mistress of her own home. she was a little perturbed her father had talked grant into building a log structure. she would have brought with her china andine furniture that would have been comfortable, chairs and a broad table. at this point, she would have five people eating in this dining room. what is important about hardscrabble, even though they do not live in a very long, is this represents their very first
9:37am
film together. great deal ofn a confidence here as a wife and mother. looking at the public and private lives of our first ladies. week at 9:00l next eastern on c-span. , we bring public affairs events from washington directly to you, putting you in the room at congressional hearings, white house events, briefings, and conferences, and offering complete coverage of the u.s. house, all as a public service of private industry. there c-span, created by cable-tv industry 34 years ago and funded by your local provider. in h.d. >> "washington journal" continues. host: open phones for the
9:38am
remainder of our time. we will take a look at headlines out of egypt. if you want to participate in the phone call portion, we have the line for republicans, the line for democrats, and the line for independents. several pieces of news coming out of egypt. the spokesman of the egyptian cabinet says authorities are considering disbanding the moslem brotherhood group. the spokesman said the prime the ministrygned of social solidarity to study the legal possibilities of dissolving the group. that is from the associated press. an egyptian government spokesman says the death toll has risen to 173 nationwide from friday clashes. the spokesman said 1330 people
9:39am
were injured in the fighting. the muslim brotherhood took to the streets on friday. this is the brother of the al qaeda chief arrested, also out of cairo. said theyfficials arrested him on saturday. of newse three points coming from egypt. we will look at other news as well. participate,to i you have a chance to do so. the numbers are on your screen. we hear from john from fairfax,
9:40am
virginia, democrats line. people need to pay attention to the republican party trying to keep people from voting. it is outrageous what they are doing in north carolina. if you care about democracy, you need to care about people voting. know they cannot win on their platform because they have no ideas, so you need to get the republicans out of office. i highly recommend people watch [indiscernible] hartman show on weekdays in this area. has put asylvania .alt on its voter i.d.'s
9:41am
sue? caller: i was wondering whether bradley manning should be -- host: keep going. you are hearing feedback or delay on the tv. caller: was wondering whether bradley manning's treatment should be considered torture been kept in solitary confinement for the lengthy was. -- links he was. the intermission help our soldiers in iraq and afghanistan by releasing them from tormenting iraqis and afghanis. i wondered whether there will be anything in the news about the war crimes -- the decision by the hague to charge george w. bush and obama with war crimes
9:42am
for the loss of 1.5 million iraqi lives and the use of the drums. both have story is looking at activities concerning the federal reserve. the dow jones industrial points for the4 week. the stock market rally has kept rates low for businesses and consumers. there is an accompanying story in the "washington post" today. it is taking a look at the fed action and what they may try to do to limit its pullback as far as bonds they are buying.
9:43am
north carolina on the independent line. caller: i am dismayed about living in north carolina at this time. "the washington post", "usa today", and television have been
9:44am
discussing issues in our state with teachers not giving raises, that just procedures got voted in. wwhat concerns me in the united states is the majority people do not vote. the vote mostly in presidential elections and not more local and state elections. state been proven in this there has not been a lot of voter fraud. what we should do is what we tell other countries to do when they vote is to stick their hand in purple ink. i think that needs to happen. i am very dismayed what happened to the jackson family this past week. they were somewhat like a brand. jacksons andif the that senior have spoken up blagojevic situation
9:45am
might not be happening now. the world ande in not just the united states. it is time for c-span to pick up what is going on in other countries. portugal decriminalized their drugs 10 years ago. they have been very happy with that situation. they have very few problems since then. take up the fact there are five gigantic corporations, international corporations, running c-span and all of the other networks we have. we are not getting american news, only what they want to tell us, and world news only what they want to tell us. that is all i have to say for today.
9:46am
thank you. programr "newsmakers" is coming up later. he talked about the grass roots efforts including things along the president's health care plan. he also addressed when it comes to immigration, how the house republicans should proceed. [video clip] >> in this environment, it is difficult to handle immigration the way we should be, by passing legislation saying we need to get the border secure. we also have a to get in balance between labor supply and demand. gigantic inave a balance between labor supply and demand. those things do not require amnesty to be solved. you can get all of the economic benefits without giving amnesty at this time. that is the position we support. unfortunately in this environment, the moment
9:47am
something passes the house, the pressure on immigration which has dissipated in the last couple of months will immediately be back in the forefront. host: the program takes place after this program. if you miss it, you can catch again at 6:00 in the evening. egypt,lysis piece on most nations require a to one week's notice before american warplanes are allowed to cross their territory.
9:48am
brooklyn, republican line, richard. caller: i am calling a politically regarding the problem with the degradation of the english language, which i think has contributed to by the schoolsd communications and journalism schools behind the media. by stomach turns every time i hear things like february, and beneficiaries, and statements like pandit, and a whole nother
9:49am
story. none of these things are contending to the quality of the english. when we consider the education system where things like computer programming are so dependent upon careful verbiage , i think attention should be ness more to the precise before we hear on television. one thing that really offends me is the so-called eyewitness news. we have people barely speaking english half the time. host: caroline from wilmington, north carolina, independent line. caller: yes, in reference to the gentleman that spoke about the voter act being passed in north those i have spoken with are very happy about that. it keeps those that want to cheat from cheating. we are very happy and glad
9:50am
toeone has had brass enough bring this forward and get it going so we will not have a lot of voter fraud. as far as the platform, how does he know what the republican platform is? i do not think he is aware of anything. thank you. host: you may have missed our program earlier this week when we talk about unmanned aerial vehicles or drones. the story in the "washington post" taking a look at the faa rule when it comes to the future.
9:51am
thecan read more in "washington post" this morning. if you want to see more of the program we did this week, go to our c-span website. we had a whole show on wednesday about it. we had a lot of different opinions as well. quincy, ill., stephen on the independent line on open phones. caller: good morning. yesterday, almost every news media outlet repeated what mr. snowden had to say, that the nsa had 2800 violations of the law. give me a break.
9:52am
there are 250 million telephones in the country. if each person uses their telephone 10 times a day, that is to 0.5 billion phone calls phone2.5 billion phone calls. if you multiply that by every week, there are trillions of phone calls every year. wereviolations inadvertent, that is like a drop of water in the ocean. much ado about nothing. thank you. from kentucky on the democrats' line. caller: and is calling in response to the statement -- i was calling in response to the statement [indiscernible] a was convicted in 1994 of possessing 124 grams of cocaine gramswas enhanced to 1024 under the mandatory crack law.
9:53am
there are thousands of us in the federal prison system that were taken off of the corners and put into the borough of prisons program. as far as the mandatory minimums, i was a non-violent first-time offenders caught up in the sweep and put in prison to do their slave labor. that is if. thank you. the: the metro section of "washington post" talks about concerns over student loans. here is the headline from the paper this morning.
9:54am
alabama, you are up next. good morning on the republican line. caller: i want to make a comment about the results of voter fraud. there is the election of lyndon baines johnson to the senate and then he rose to the vice presidency. the programs he instituted is one reason we have the financial problems today. it is a well-documented fact he won his election by voter fraud. there is a man that has published a cartoon books about lyndon baines johnson. people -- some of his a small town in the west part of texas. when they got there the place
9:55am
was surrounded by deputies with guns. when they got into the books, they found out by some strange up in, 200 people lined alphabetical order to vote at the end of the day. not only did they line up in alphabetical order, they used the same pen and have the same handwriting. lyndon baines johnson won that election by about 100 votes. well-documented. all this hullabaloo about verifying voter registration -- host: thank you. this, this morning. there is a story in the style section of the of the washington post" talking about new documents obtained by george washington university about. 51. -- area 51.
9:56am
if you look at the accompanying picture, here is the salt lake, the area in question. area 51 been confirmed by the government. there is. as you look at it, we will hear on theis from michigan independent line. thank you for calling. the government has become venture-capital lists. they have destroyed the mom and
9:57am
pop stores. supermarkets have replaced the small grocery store. the big everything stores have replaced the small hardware stores. they ought to do what they say they do, protect and defend this country against those who could harm us foreign and domestic. i guess that would include them. think they ought to keep their business to what is good for the country and for the people. that is why we send taxes there. by the way, don't they get taxes from air fare? they are in business. what can i say? have a wonderful day. host: that will be the last call we take. our program tomorrow starts at 7:00 a.m. we will continue with the news from egypt. man will talk about
9:58am
egypt and the u.s. response. we will also hear from ste phen ellis. we will talk about the increase in insurance rates. we will take a decision -- discussion of social media and how can help to predict elections. talks about how it can help to protect the of region predict the outcome of house elections. 404redicted a winner in competitive races. you can hear his thoughts tomorrow starting at 9:15. journal" comes awake at 7:00 tomorrow. we will see you then. comesshington journal" your way tomorrow at 7:00. we will see you then. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] [captioning performed by national captioning institute]
9:59am
>> coming up on c-span, nicholas burns, former undersecretary of state talks about diplomacy. a discussion on the future of pakistan with retired general stanley mcchrystal and former pakistani ambassador to the u.s.. now, nicholas burns, former u.s. undersecretary of state for political affairs addresses past and current u.s. diplomatic efforts, including the israeli-palestinian peace talks, the investigation into the benghazi attack and the civilian civil war. this is an hour and 10 minutes. [applause] glg thank you, mr. president.
10:00am
good morning, everyone. it is a beautiful morning, but i detected very early a hint of autumn in the air. i don't know if you did. you may have seen recently, as i did, a "new york times" article about a sylvan bucolic renaissance throwback to another century, the 19th century, in fact, when families from new york and ohio and pennsylvania and the canadian provinces and elsewhere came to spend a bit of the summer to restore themselves in a place called cha tack qua. and the article described -- chi tack qua. and the article described what qua so unique, at least for me, the spirit of philosophy, the thing that makes life really special and meaningful. it was a great

Terms of Use (10 Mar 2001)